Pleasurable sex is an important part of a good relationship, enhancing your life and that of your partner. Many couples start out having great sex, but time can take a toll. Often, couples just accept this waning of enjoyment when they might be able to make a few changes to improve their sex life. If your sexual well-being has suffered lately, consider making some adjustments.

Talk about it. Many people find it difficult to express their sexual needs but your partner can’t read your mind. Tell him explicitly what he can do to bring you to your peak. Or if that’s beyond you, try nonverbal ways of communicating. Help him help you. Guide his hand. Use your body language. Find a way to let him know what you need.

Take the time to de-stress. When you are tense or anxious, your body is less likely to respond well to sex. Ironically, a good orgasm is a great stress-reliever. But you need to relax and enjoy your partner and your body in order to get there. Reducing stress is good for you in all sorts of ways, so learn how to make your life less stressful in general. Meditate. Do yoga. Take walks in the woods. Whatever works for you.

When Sex Isn’t Fun Anymore Nancy'S Counseling Corner

Declare yourself Not Guilty. If you were brought up to believe sex was shameful or that you are undeserving of any pleasure, let alone sexual pleasure, it’s bound to affect you sooner or later. If you don’t pursue great sex because nice girls don’t do that, it’s time to get over it. You do deserve good sex and you don’t deserve the guilt that goes with it.

Get over your bad body image. Maybe you’ve gained a little weight. Or maybe you feel your body is not as beautiful as those airbrushed, photo-shopped women in magazines. Your partner will no doubt tell you that you look beautiful to him. Now if only you could believe that. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, you may find it hard to luxuriate in a great sexual experience.

Get ready emotionally and physically. Yes, the brain is still the most important sex organ you have. So do light some candles and put on some soothing music. And give your body time to get physically ready as well as psychologically. Sometimes it takes awhile to get sexually aroused. Guide your partner to help stimulate you so you are physiologically ready—it’s a process that can’t be rushed.

Some of these changes are easier to make than others. It will take time and effort to conquer guilt, for example. You didn’t learn to feel guilty in a day. So it will take longer than a day to unlearn that habit. Be patient with yourself and avail yourself of counseling if that will help. A healthy sex life is a great reward.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: